Warming Beef Stew

Beef stewFollowing on from last week’s Autumn/Winter recipe, I’ve been thinking about some more winter warmers. One of my favourites is a beef stew – I used to love making them in the slow cooker but sadly I don’t have one any more (**quickly runs off to add to the Christmas list**). This recipe from Jamie Oliver is great though.

Serves                        Four

Prep Time                 20 minutes

Cooking Time         3-4 hours

Calories                     645 per portion


1 white onion

2 parsnips

1/2 a butternut squash

a few sprigs of fresh sage

Olive Oil

1 knob of unsalted butter

4 carrots

800g stewing steak or beef skirt, cut into 5 cm pieces

Plain flour

500g small potatoes

2 tablespoons of tomato puree

1/2 a bottle of red wine

285ml of beef or vegetable stock

1 lemon

A few sprigs of fresh rosemary

1 clove of garlic


1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/300ºF/gas 2.

2. Peel and roughly chop the onion, peel and quarter the parsnips and peel and halve the carrots. Deseed and roughly dice the squash. Pick the sage leaves.

3. Heat a little oil and the butter in a casserole pan on a medium heat, add the onion and sage leaves, then fry for 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, toss the meat in a little seasoned flour, then add it to the pan with all the vegetables, the tomato purée, wine and stock, then gently stir together. Season generously with black pepper and just a little sea salt.

5. Bring to the boil, place a lid on top, then place in the oven until the meat is tender – sometimes this takes 3 hours, sometimes 4 – it depends on what cut of meat you’re using and how fresh it is. The only way to test is to mash up a piece of meat and if it falls apart easily it’s ready.

6. Once cooked, turn the oven down to about 110°C/225°F/gas ¼ and just hold it there until you’re ready to eat. Finely grate the lemon zest, pick and finely chop the rosemary and peel and finely chop the garlic, then mix together and sprinkle over the stew before serving. Just the smallest amount will make a world of difference – as soon as it hits the hot stew it will release an amazing fragrance.

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